2020: The year of true colors.

Sunday afternoon, I ventured out of my apartment for the first time in a week. When I got to my car, I noticed it was unlocked — I never leave my car unlocked — and before opening the door, I noticed things inside were in disarray.

Ugh.

My Jeep was broken into, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. In 2015, someone busted my passenger’s side window to take a bag out of my vehicle. I’d been parked at the dance studio. At that time, they stole a designer laptop bag that had my iPad inside.

Admittedly, it was really dumb of me to keep that stuff right upfront. I’d never had my car broken into and I also didn’t really ever think about it.

I had to pay for the window to be replaced, which was $300 I didn’t have. It also scared me, and I felt violated. i also couldn’t afford to replace the bag or my laptop, so that was a bummer.

I learned a huge lesson and since then, I have made a very, VERY conscious effort not to keep monetarily valuable things in my car, and especially not keeping anything visible (not even a coin or a charging cable).

Over the years, my apartment complex has sent around emails saying people have been breaking into cars and homes, and offering tips to protect yourself and your things.

I am pretty sure that I left my car unlocked this time, so that’s on me. But when I sat inside my car, I realized the thief took ALL of my CDs. I had about 100 CDs stored inside my console (not visible from looking in the window).

I never considered the CDs to be something people would want to steal. At first, I thought, “Oh no, my John Mayer… my Justin Bieber.”

And then I realized that there were so many personal mixes in there — mixes I’d made for myself and ones friends had made for me. And… about 10 mixes my dad made for me (he passed away in 2018). I can never replace those.

I do have lots of music digitally, of course, but nothing replaces popping a CD into my car and cranking it up. And of course, I cannot replace my mixes. My computer doesn’t even have a CD slot in it.

I looked further in my Jeep and discovered they stole the cheap $5 sunglasses I kept in the holder (hidden from view) and they stole all of the paperwork out of my glovebox (receipts, car registration, insurance cards, and spare car lightbulbs).

They opened my trunk and stole my car vacuum and a machine that puts the right amount of air into the tires. They also stole some reusable grocery bags, and a throw pillow I’d sewn by hand.

So, again, nothing monetarily expensive, but just a giant pain in the ass. Plus, I was just so sad about those CDs.

That night, I took anything remaining out of my car, since obviously it was dumb of me to keep a single thing inside of it. I also emailed the leasing office and the Cares Team — a couple that is supposed to make sure residents are feeling satisfied living in the complex — just letting them know this happened (in case they keep track or anything) and also asking them to let me know if they see any CDs near the dumpsters.

And you know what? No one wrote me back. Not a single person.

When I went to bed Sunday night, I got an email from Hulu saying someone else was using my account. When I logged in, I could see that yes, Andy from Wyoming, was using my account (that I bought Saturday) to watch shows on his iPhone.

Monday morning, I got an email saying someone was trying to log in to my Patreon account, which is attached to my PayPal.

Needless to say, all of this really got my gears going. I know that people break into cars and steal things and try to hack our online lives all the time.

But I feel like 2020 is really a year that’s showing the worst in people. People just cannot be bothered to wear a mask, or stay home, or social distance, or not spit on each other during a pandemic. People take things that aren’t theres to take.

And people cannot even be bothered to write an email that says, “So sorry this happened to you,” Don’t worry, I’ve emailed them again to share my thoughts on this.

Of course, in these tough times, there are many people that have gone above and beyond to help others and show extra kindness by donating to charities, staying home for the holidays, and by wearing a mask.

i know that the problems I’ve listed here are not the big problems of the year. Many have lost jobs (including me) and loved ones, and I know so many of us are struggling mentally.

I am thankful, of course, that nothing worse happened and that no one was hurt. At the very least, I have the memory of the mixed CDs my dad made for me, and no one can take that away.

Having my CDs stolen felt like the final straw in this year that’s taken so much from us. For me, I’ve missed going to concerts, and now it’s taking my CDs???

My mom kindly sent me a gift card to replace some of what was taken, so I’ve ordered 12 CDs — mostly John Mayer, a Bieber, and two Dave Matthews Band. I’m excited to listen to these again… and I’m not keeping ANYTHING in my car.

I decided to keep anything I need — insurance cards, CDs, air pump, etc. — in a bag by my front door and just take it to the car whenever I go somewhere.

I sure hope the remainder of 2020 shows us a little more kindness and less of the selfish side of people.

3 Comments

  1. Mills at Go Ahead, Read My Mind

    Ugh, I’m so sorry this happened to you. I once had a bunch of burned CDs stolen (like, why??), and having such personal things stolen definitely adds insult to injury. Not to mention the the attempted hacking(s)! So awful. My faith in humanity has definitely been dinged this year.

    1. thebitterlemon

      Aw, thank you! No matter what gets stolen, the feeling of paranoia after is what’s getting me now. I obsessively check my locks and look outside at my car to see if it looks ok?! It’s crazy. I know these things happen to everyone and during any year, it just seems like people are getting desperate and it’s all showing.

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